William E. Freeman.The history of Kansas is exceptionally replete with illustrations of the success that men of character, energy and ambition may attain if self-reliant and not afraid to strike hard blows. One of this class of men who, through industry and untiring, pertinacious application has won for himself a distinct financial success and a place among the worthy and representative men of Kansas is William E. Freeman, president of the Exchange State Bank at Dighton. Mr. Freeman is a native of Missouri, born in St. Clair county, Nov. 7, 1874. His father, Ancil B. Freeman, was born in Indiana May 2, 1834, and during his earlier life was a farmer. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Sixty-ninth Indiana infantry. This regiment was mustered in August 9. It left the state the next day for Richmond, Ky., and was engaged in the battle near that place on the 30th, when Kirby Smith's forces captured it almost to a man, after it had lost 218 in killed and wounded. Among the wounded was Ancil B. Freeman, who lost his right leg in that engagement and therefore was incapacitated for further military service. After his recovery he engaged in the mercantile business two years at Lynn, Ind., removing from there to Roscoe, Mo., in 1868. There he engaged in the live stock business until 1885, when he came to Lane county, Kansas, and located on government land. He continued to be engaged in the live stock business and gave in all twenty-two years to that vocation. In 1900 he retired from active business activities and died at Dighton, May 11, 1904. He served as county commissioner of Lane county two terms and was county attorney one term. Politically, he was a Democrat and took an active interest in the work of his party. He was married in 1856 to Miss Sarah A. Shoemaker, who survives and resides in Dighton, Kan. William E. Freeman acquired his education in the public schools of Lane county and at the Central Kansas Normal, where he graduated with the class of 1897. Following his graduation he served eight years as deputy county clerk of Lane county. In the meantime he was conducting a cattle ranch in Lane county. After completing his official duties he gave his whole attention to farming and stock raising until 1910, when, with Elisha S. and Fred F. Freeman, his brothers, he organized the Exchange State Bank of Dighton, of which he became president and still occupies that position. His brother, Fred F., is cashier. The bank was organized with a capital of $10,000. These brothers started in 1895 with $200 borrowed capital. Today they are numbered among the most substantial citizens of Lane county where, besides their banking interests, they own valuable ranches and are among the largest cattlemen of the county. Mr. Freeman affiliates fraternally with the Masonic order.Pages 1126-1127 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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